Category Archives: Inside Opinions

Inside Opinion #4 by Dylan Benharris

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Any opinion presented is Dylan’s own and is no way influenced by the YoYoSkills Staff.

“What’s Next?”

In previous articles I have talked about the “new generation” and how they were begining to set their sights on taking down some of the old veterans at BAC, and guess what, not only did one player from the new generation emerge victorious over the veterans but two players John Chow and Gentry Stein both took out what was supossed to be an extremely stacked list of players. Words cannot describe how Gentry must feel right now.  I would imagine that cloud nine wouldn’t be high enough for him. The kid has done what many said was not possible. Gentry took on the field at BAC and definitely rocked his freestyle. It has become increasingly obvious that the new generation is about to take over at first glance that is. It should not be a surprise though.  The results basically mirrored Cal States minus Jensen.  When the most dominant 1a player isn’t even at the contest, it does not go unnoticed, but could BAC Gentry take Cal States Jensen?

Gentry is on a roll and with each passing contest he just keeps getting better and better. Many would say that Gentry proved something by winning BAC but he had beaten most of these guys already.  What stood out more to me was the jump over John Chow.  Gentry was just behind John at Nationals and now he seems to have pulled ahead. We also need to look at Worlds, because Gentry has yet to prove his skill internationally where the field increases in skill ten fold. Along Gentry’s road to glory he will have to take out Yuuki, Jensen, Mickey, Christopher Chia, Paul Kerbel and many other players that still hold, in my opinion, a skill gap over him. We also have Sebastion Brock who was not at BAC but could make an appearance at the other Triple Crown events. We may need to wait and see at the East Coast Classic who will rain victorious in the crown series and as the new figurehead for yoyoing. On a side note,  is anyone else excited for Paul Kerbel?  I have heard rumors that he may be coming to the Boston contest along with a handful of other international players.  I cant wait for Boston, it’s going to be sick.

Ok, so back to the present topic at hand: BAC was a very great contest had lots of cool people there but now we set our eyes on a new Mid West Classic. I am personally attending this contest myself and am working on setting my freestyle up with a new game plan. Instead of just focusing on my tricks I like the most, I am reverting back to the days where I had success with a little bit more tech in my freestyle than I do now. I have to admit I am behind the game on refreshing my freestyles for points.  This is after all how many players win contest. I know for a fact that Gentry goes on stage not only to impress people but to win contest.  There is a huge difference. I also know that Gentry is taught heavily by Augie as was I just a few years ago. I understand how Gentry’s freestyle works.  With what he has put together, he is going to consistently be the highest score on the board. Augie is an amazing teacher and yoyoer (also the only old generation player to top three at BAC). I have to say though Gentry is looking good coming out of BAC and if he attends Mid West Classic he will be the definite front runner. The only thing that he has to be scared of now is players who “No Showed” at BAC.

So that pretty much raps up the outcome of BAC.

In the next few weeks  I am going to be giving talk about the international scene and give my two cents on where everyone is at for the 1a World Title

This includes:

Japan Nationals upset that happend last week.

Are the “No Shows” out or did they just skip BAC?

Does Gentry Stein have what it takes to make it in the international game?

International New Generation players to watch.

and My pick for the Worlds frontrunner.

Check out my freestyle on the weekly round up on there is some cool stuff in that freestyle.

Thanks for Reading, please come back next week to see my new article


Rebel Yoyos

Inside Opinion #3 by Dylan

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Any opinion presented is Dylan’s own and is no way influenced by the YoYoSkills Staff.

“What it means to win BAC”

With BAC just two weeks away, all eyes have focused on the US contest scene to see who will emerge as the National title front runner. 2011 may be the year where the new generation of 1a players finally outmatch and beat the experienced players and veterans like Paul Han and Yuuki Spencer. Lately, there have been doubts heard from other top yoyoers, and from the community who are not ready to let a rookie beat them out. Leading the pack of the new generation is of course Gentry, but also the often overlooked John Chow. John definitely has the skill and hunger this year and has a very unique style allowing him to rack up points and rack them up quickly. Some might say the same about Gentry but I think that while both Gentry and John Chow share the hunger for the 1a title, their play styles are completely different. Gentry’s “poppy” style of tech 1a is vastly different from John Chow’s complex flowing tech 1a. Gentry has a proven freestyle that gets the point system on his side. He knows what judges react to and how the game works. When He competes, he competes to win. John’s tech seems to take more risks, which if ran without a problem could rack up points quicker than Gentry. The two are set to face off at BAC with Gentry coming in fresh off his success at Cal States, defeating a pack of experienced veterans except for the beast that is Jensen Kimmitt. What people forget though is that John Chow beat Gentry at Nationals, only six months prior to Cal States. While sill part of the next generation of 1a yoyers, John has been at the top level longer than Gentry, but Gentry already has shown that he is capable of beating even some of the most experienced players in the world. While these two seem to be the main front runners for the new generation, I see more than just these two being the highlight players to look for. I have seen and heard great things from Augie since Cal States. He has really stepped things up from what have seen in his recent videos and from what he has told me when I talked to him. I think that Cal States showed Augie that he is definitely in the title race this year. If he puts the time and effort in than he should be able to accomplish what he has already done once now more than a half decade ago. I don’t think that Augie has ever really been a tech player. I saw his tricks as too high risk or that they just didn’t score enough points to keep him in the running for a title, but from what was seen at Cal States this as recently changed. He really has been working on getting some more points into his freestyle. This is mostly evident by his less than practiced Cal States freestyle which took third and his large following that backs him.

Augie may not be the only thing standing in the way of Gentry or John’s push toward greatness. The echoes of the seemingly ghost like champions Jensen Kimmitt and Sebastien Brock can still be heard. Even though both had expressed a desire to step away from the contest scene, they came back unexpectedly and took first place at a contest. Jensen, who has proven that he can take any contest, had a clear jump on Gentry at Cal States. If Gentry is going to have any hope of pulling off an upset over Jensen, he is going to have to eliminate those small mistakes that took place all throughout his freestyle at Cal States. One could also point out that seeing Sebby’s Virginia state win shows us that he is nowhere close to rusty from his little break from contest yo-yoing, and that if he were to show up to BAC he would pose one of the biggest threats to the entire range contestants. Though I have no clue if either Jensen or Sebby are coming to BAC, it is not impossible. Jensen competed at Cal States so I do not see what would stop him from competing at BAC.

Winning BAC gives you more than a title or a seed to Nationals. Winning BAC starts a following. When you think of BAC title’s though you have to bring up Paul Han. With his seven or eight red jackets from back in the day. He is THE MOST dominant player at BAC and he will stay that way until someone comes along and takes seven BAC jackets again. Paul has a huge following, primarily I think because of his BAC accomplishments. He took BAC’s 2a division one year on a whim just because he felt like it. Jensen forged a following in 2009 with his BAC win and solidified it in 2010. Augie has taken BAC once and since then, has always had a strong contest showing. Yuuki took BAC twice, once to start his name and once to show that he’s still got some fight left in him. This year Gentry and John will battle to be the players that have already concreted their names in the yoyo community and start a dedicated following. A casual yoyoer may not understand what this kind of following does for a yoyoers career. Their name goes from known to well known and the buzz of friends and admirers starts to turn a loud community of yoyoers who are backing that player to win the contest, get a signature yo-yo, or to put out that new video. It gives you respect it makes you untouchable in the community. No one person is able to slander you because you have a FOLLOWING and once you begin to develop a following you begin to get a feeling of support and makes you want to win just a little bit more and it makes you want to show up to those contests with the expectation of winning. The problem though is in the eyes of the yo-yo world, a player is only as good as their last contest. A bad freestyle can change the way that people see you and starts to diminish your following. A wrong choice can also lose following. Fans can start to dislike you just as fast as they began to like you. Almost all top tier players consider this aspect of having a following and you will even see some players who are trying to repair their following because of things said or done. Just like a fan, regrets and bad choices tend to follow you also. That’s why some have had to burn bridges with certain companies or people. Cutting off a tie publicly can regain a fallen following. The people who win Nationals or Worlds are the people who are supported by a big name company and have a reputation and following built. You just don’t see an unknown yoyoer at that top level.

BAC historically has been the launching point for veterans with legendary following. With Gentry being on the verge of being a big name and same with John, if either of the two take the BAC title it will not only show the world that they are ready for a Worlds or National title, but will also explode their already growing following. Gentry and John both are at the verge of exploding a title win, but just because you deserve something doesn’t mean that it is going to be given to you. You have to go out and take what’s yours. We are all going to see what will be an “Every man for Themselves Battle Royal” staring a mess of both rookies and the veterans. 2011 looks to be the most competitive years of recent memory. While this could be the year of the new generation, the elite veteran class is not going to give up what they already have without a fight.

Questions to the readers;

What yoyoer do you think has the biggest following?

How do you think the title quest will play out amongst the bright young talent?

And, finally what player do you want to see win BAC this year.

Thanks for reading and please do come back next week to read my article on who I want to win and how I think the contest will break down ranking wise.

Your Trully,
Rebel YoYos

Inside Opinion by Dylan Benharris

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Note from the Editor: Dylan approached me with an idea for a new feature.  He wanted to blog his views on various yo-yo related subjects, similarly to how ESPN lets players write regular features under the Player X nomenclature.  I am all for this.  Any young yoyoer that has an interest in writing on a regular basis is something I want to encourage and the fact that Dylan is a yo-yo contender who regularly places in the top ten at any contest he attends is a bonus.  Dylan is a former junior champion and in the coming years, a serious contender for capturing a top title.  I am more than happy to encourage him in his pursuit.  Any opinion presented is Dylan’s own and is no way influenced by the YoYoSkills Staff.

Chris “Dr. Yo-Yo” Allen

Article #1 – “World Title Contenders”

I am Dylan Benharris, and I am going to jump right into this thing.

The topic for this article is “World Title Contenders”. From my personal “Inside Opinion”, these are who I see as the biggest contenders for the upcoming World title set to hit Florida this August.

The top name that everyone knows is Jensen Kimmitt.   With his triumph at the talent packed Cal State Contest, he proved once again that he still has that abilty to show up and destroy it like he had last year. He knows the elements really well and his slack is beautifully clean. He is a true threat for any title, granted he decides to compete this year. At Cal States his freestyle was completely different than the one he had at 2010 Worlds. It was fresh and new, and despite seeming like he did not really even put in his full effort, he still stomped everyone.

Another name that you probably have heard some major hype behind is Christopher Chia, the 1a ap winner who recently beat “always in the top three for 1a at worlds” Mickey so you know he’s got so serious numbers backing him. Yuuki and Ando are obvious, but more of YoYoFactory’s top players like Ganc, Augie Fash, and Paul Han are all looking good. Paul had a good day at the 2010 Nationals and his freestyle is looking good enough to could contend for the title. I should also mention Gentry Stein looks like he’s out for blood. Another contender that I personally like is Anthony Rojas. He has the tech to score points and the creativity a top ten world ranked yoyoer should. His style is likable and most of the tech tricks he does are from back in the day. They have a great visual presence and are not just point oriented. A lot of International players are looking good like my personal friend Marcus Koh. One player that I would keep my eye on is Luo Yi Cheng. I feel like he could be just one clean freestyle from winning.

One thing that you should look for when predicting contenders so early before Worlds are top players that are consistently in the top like Mark Montgomery.

What your left with are players like me who are still placing in the in the top ten at contests. Many names stay the in same places every contest, but you never know who will pull a surprise upset.

Questions for the readers:

Who you think is looking really good this year?

Who do you think will take the upcoming Bay Area Classic?

Yours Truly,
Dylan Benharris
– Team – Rebel Throws
– Yo-Yo- Hand Candy